Thinking about switching banks but not sure how to go about it? We’ll walk you through each step of the process so you can be confident that you haven’t missed anything.
Switching Banks: Your Step-By-Step Checklist
We’ll go into detail below, but here’s a quick checklist for switching banks:
- Open your new account.
- Redirect direct deposits.
- Review and redirect automatic payments.
- Close your old account.
Step 1: Open your new account.
Your first step is to open your new account. At Mercer Savings, we ask that you bring in your driver’s license and social security number (you don’t need your card, just the number).
To open an account, you will need to make a minimum deposit. The amount depends on the type of account you choose to open.
There’s no need to make an appointment to open a new account. You can visit one of our locations whenever is convenient for you and a dedicated customer service representative will sit down with you to walk you through the process.
Once you’ve set up your new account, it’s time to move money from your old account. If you have any questions about transferring funds, we can help you with this process.
Step 2: Redirect direct deposits.
If your employer uses direct deposits, you’ll want to redirect those deposits to your new bank account.
Typically, all you’ll have to do is fill out a form with your employer. Talk to whoever is in charge of accounting or human resources to get the process started.
Step 3: Review and redirect payments.
Before you close your old account, you’ll want to be sure that you don’t have any automatic bill pay options still pulling from that account. Otherwise, you’ll run the risk of overdraft fees.
Now is the time to change the accounts on your automatic payments to your new bank. Also, if you have any pending payments or checks, you’ll want to wait to close the account until after the payments are finalized.
Keep in mind, this is also a good time to update any online retail accounts to reflect the new bank information. They may not have direct payments coming out of them but this way the next time you go to checkout, you’ll be all set to go.
To be sure that you’ve caught everything, it’s a good idea to go through old bank records to see what payments were made. Experts advise that you go through a full year’s worth of statements when switching banks. If you only go through a month’s worth, you may miss quarterly or yearly payments, such as an annual insurance charge.
Here are some examples of things you’ll want to update. Review it and make a list of those that you need to contact.
- Rent or mortgage
- Student loans
- Insurance (life, home, auto, health)
- Online retailers
- Online payment systems, such as PayPal
- Mobile apps
- Credit cards
- Online subscriptions (think Netflix or Hulu, etc.)
- Magazines and periodicals
Tip: Even if you’re confident that you have transferred all of your payments, it’s a good idea to keep some funds in the old account for now. If nothing else, keep enough in the account to avoid any minimum-balance fees.
Step 4: Close your old account after two months.
You can keep your old account open if you wish, as some banks may charge closing fees that you may want to avoid.
However, if you don’t want to worry about managing multiple accounts or accruing unexpected fees, you should close out your account with your old bank after some time has passed. Two months is a good rule of thumb to ensure that you didn’t miss any monthly automated payments.
Check with your old bank when you are ready to close, as each bank is a little different. Be sure to ask if there are any closing fees or special requirements, such as proof of identification or an official letter requesting account closure.
Services at Mercer Savings Bank
Mercer Savings Bank has been a part of Mercer and Darke counties for over 130 years. We’re a mutual bank, meaning we don’t have shareholders. You, along with our other customers, own the bank.
When you open an account, obtain a loan or plan your retirement with Mercer Savings Bank, your money stays in the community. We also take the time to get to know you in a way that the other banks just aren’t able to compete with. If you’re ready to switch, contact us today.